Nairobi Conference - Experts Recommend National Drug Policies and Broader WHO Strategy. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 002 (1986)
(1986; 2 pages)


The WHO Conference of Experts on the Rational Use of Drugs was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 25-29 November 1986. The 92 participants prepared a series of recommendations for all parties, such as governments, pharmaceutical corporations, the public, and the media, involved in making drug use more rational. In his closing address at the conference, Dr. Halfdan Mahler, Director-General of WHO, summarized the recommendations. Dr. Mahler stated the primary responsibility in ensuring rational drug use lies with governments. Each nation should be responsible for creating national health policies and regulatory agencies to enforce and monitor drug use. National legislation should be used when necessary. Other recommendations from the conference included ensuring good manufacturing practices and quality control, determining ethical criteria for drug promotion, and providing objective drug information to prescribers, patients, and policymakers. The conference determined it is not the responsibility of WHO to act as a supranational regulatory body. However, WHO is responsible for assessing, analyzing, and distributing necessary information. Lastly, Dr. Mahler unveiled the WHO’s revised drug strategy for the 39th World Health Assembly. The strategy included the promotion of national programs and policies, improved information distribution, standardized ethical norms, and improved training in rational drug use. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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